Yet another mail from a prospective client asking for quantifiable deliverables from the PR exercise!!! How many times have we faced this question during pitches and what has been our response?
I have asked this question from innumerable PR professionals and have yet to come across a satisfying response. Similar questions posted on various forums like Linkedin etc. have all elicited a tepid response at best. Most of the deliverables are centered around media coverage and the editorial economic value of the coverage. Simply put the easiest way of doing this is to calculate the advertising value based on the space (column centimeters) and multiply this by 6-8 times (the factor given internationally to editorial coverage vis a vis advertising).
But how fair is it ? If a half page story carries one quote from the client, still it is considered to be a half page editorial space for the client. There are seldom stories which are entirely devoted to the client. At the maximum I would say the average across all clients would be in the range of 10% for stand alone stories. We do have cases of 100% stories on the client but this is rare.
Why can't the so called associations representing the PR Industry like PRCAI, IPRA, PRSI etc. work out a common denominator? Why can't we have a PR Measurement Index (PRMI)? The quantifiable deliverables are something which has vexed the PR Industry ever since the beginning. These so called International and National associations, if they are serious in doing some good work for the profession and seeing the profession evolve into a strong Industry must apply themselves to this task.Then only can they be called the true torch bearers of the profession.
I have certain thoughts on the subject, which may or may not find acceptance. I will express these in my next article.